Importers are also obliged to keep detailed records of the products they import
and sell. These documents have to be kept for at least six months after the expiry date of the product concerned. Supplies of products of animal origin have to feature a health certificate issued by the competent authority of the exporting country (Veterinary Health Certificate for Animal Products).
The health certificate is trilingual (in Chinese, English and the language of the exporting country). It is quite general in nature and contains, inter alia, the following information:
- Company details including veterinary number
- Information identifying the products to be shipped
- Information on means of transport
- Recipient data
- Certification by an official veterinarian
Health certificates may be signed only by authorised official veterinarians, a list of which is communicated by the veterinary authorities of the exporting country to China.
The food system in China, including imported products, is supervised by the following authorities:
In addition, there is a number of legal acts concerning poultry products:
- GB 7718-2011 – General Rules for the Labelling of Prepackaged Foods
- GB 2707-2005 – Hygienic Standard for Fresh (Frozen) Meat of Livestock
- GB/T 17238-2008 – Hygienic practice for meat processing establishments
- GB 9959-2-2001 – Fresh and Frozen Poultry Product Standard
- GB 16869-2005 – Poultry National Standard
- GB/T 20094-2006 – National Food Safety Standards for Uses of Food Additives
In addition to meeting food safety requirements, the importer has to meet a number of formal import and customs requirements:
- Obtaining a trade licence from the Ministry of Trade (MOFCOm) – http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/)
- Registration in the customs system (GACC)
- Submission of an Automatic Import License document with a description of each imported product to MOFCOM.